Live Talking - Ungdomskulen

The Norwegian rockers play Clash's Saturday Social...
Ungdomskulen at SXSW 2009
Clash is super-flippin’-excited to be hosting the mighty trio of Ungdomskulen at this weekend’s Saturday Social – it’s not everyday the Norwegians are in town to say the least, so it’s set to be a cracker.

Hailing from Bergen, the trio – Kristian Jan Erik Stockhaus (guitar, vocals), Frode Kvinge Flatland (bass) and Øyvind Solheim (percussion) – has built up an enviable live reputation, founded on a style of rock that really knows no bounds. Experimental yet direct-to-yr-skull in their forcefulness, the band’s approach is one that promotes maximum dancing, minimum doubt.

Think some parts DFA1979, a pinch of Sabbath, a dousing of Holy Fuck and a snippet of Trans Am. Yup, it’s a party in your earholes alright. And it has a new album, ‘Bisexual’, out now. Get it, yeah?

Ahead of Saturday’s gig – at the Notting Hill Arts Club from 4pm ‘til 8pm (free entry), with Friendship, The Laurel Collective and worriedaboutsatan – Kristian answered our regular Live Talking Q&A…

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Ungdomskulen – ‘Modern Drummer’


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Are you a band that records to tour, or that tours to record? Or do you not see the two as separate parts of what you do?
We really love all aspects of being in a band, rehearsing, recording and touring. If you get a good balance between your doings, your band will blossom more beautifully and give more fruit… rock-bananas, if you will.

Do you feel you translate well as a live act, perhaps better than on record, or have live shows been a bigger learning process than writing/recording?
We feel that live shows and records should be quite different: playing live you can adjust to what sorta night it is, while the record is always banging on no matter how many listeners or what sorta atmosphere there is. We feel that we do both equally good, but we are probably more ‘convincing’ live.

To date, what show stands out in your memory as the best you've played?
When we did our first sold-out show in our hometown Bergen, it was a very special night for us – not only the sold-out part, but also because it was not so long ago, so we still have it fresh in mind. We have done so many concerts it’s hard to keep them apart, really.

What's the best show (by another band) that you've been to? Perhaps not ever, but certainly of late…
We all went and saw Smoosh a couple weeks ago, and that show was inspiring, rocking and had that little something. As far as shows go, the smaller the better. Arena stuff isn’t really our kind of potata.

And what about the worst show? By yourselves... is there a venue/town you'll happily never return to?
Every time we do a bad show we think about the comedic aspect of it all, or try to find highlights so that after a while all our shows feels more or less like good shows, or at least better than how they were. It’s all about fooling your brain.

Say you've the budget to put on your ultimate four-band bill, featuring yourselves - who plays and in what order? No bringing anyone back from the dead, here, but defunct bands can count.
22.00-22.45 - Ungdomskulen
15 min changeover
23.00-23.45 - E.L.P.
15 min changeover
24.00-01.45 - The Zombies
15 min changeover
02.00-06.00 - Diplo

How does the band keep itself entertained on the road? Any bus games you break out for motorway gridlock?
We mostly just listen to music and talk. I get car-sick from doing anything else then watching a movie or listening to music. So: movie or music, or staring out the window.

What tips would you give a new band about to embark on their first 'proper' tour?
Its all mathematical - you can’t do A without feeling B, or you can’t give X amount of energy on stage every night with getting Y hours of sleep. It’s just maths, so bring out your textbooks.

Tell us about your latest release... will it be available at the show? What's coming soon on the release front?
Our latest release is our sophomore album called ‘Bisexual’. It’s very rich on sound, texture, words and passages; it’s rock played in a trio format, stretching it all out, like a jazz-cat on a sofa - a little bit of prog-music and a little bit of snog-music.

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Ungdomskulen – ‘I Dunno’


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Find Ungdomskulen on MySpace HERE and get full details for the Clash Saturday Social on May 23 HERE.

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